The Detox Diet: Does It Really Work?

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detox diet

Going on a diet is nothing new in this day and age, given the number of people struggling with weight issues. Most people go on a diet because:

  1. they want to look good;
  2. of health reasons; and
  3. they have to achieve a specific goal e.g. competition.

A diet can be short or long-term, depending on one’s needs and wants.

For example, you can probably go on a short-term diet to fit into that dress for your best friend’s wedding. On the other hand, someone who is overweight will need to strictly follow a long-term diet plan for it to work.

The detox diet, generally speaking, falls into the short-term category.

What Is the Detox Diet?

Detox – which stands for detoxify – refers to the removal of toxins.

A detox diet is thus a diet designed specifically for removing toxic waste from your body.

A typical detox diet includes fasting, assisted by a strict diet consisting of fruits, water, juices, and vegetables. It could also include teas, supplements, or herbs.

How Does It Work?

The underlying assumption of the detox diet is that consuming clean, healthy food will help rebalance your body.

Some may include drinking just selected liquids, for example salted water and lemon juice, while eliminating food rich in toxins. This also generally means that processed food is not part of the detox diet.

Going on a detox diet is meant to help eliminate toxins from the body through defecation, urine, and sweat. The belief is that your organs, such as liver and kidneys, will function better as a result.

There are also claims that it can help with different medical conditions, including inflammation, bloating, allergies, and others.

What to Consume During a Detox Diet?

Cleanses, or diet, in general does not mean to deprive yourself of solid food. Rather, the goal is to make nutrients-rich food a part of your daily meal. 

Here are the recommended types of food to eat when going on a detox diet:

  • Vegetables.
  • Whole grains and complex carbs.
  • Fruits.
  • Healthy fats (e.g. nuts, avocado, seeds).

You will notice that detox diet food recommendations usually tend to exclude any animal products or by-products.

Does It Actually Work?

There can be benefits to pursuing a detox diet.

It does so by requiring you to eat healthier, drink more water, and cutting out processed food. Eating whole foods can also help retrain your palate and reduce your craving for food rich in sugar, salt, and fat.

That said, there is still no concrete proof that a detox diet is perfect. This is because the human body is made to constantly regenerate, detoxify, and repair itself.

The Verdict

There hasn’t been sufficient evidence to prove that detox diets work better than a placebo. It is also true that those who choose to detox will generally limit what they consume anyway.

But all the more power to you if you choose to go on a detox diet that will help you cut back on unhealthy things like alcohol, sugar, and processed food.

Disclaimer: Please consult your dietitian for professional advice before starting any diet.